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poptropicaslutz! Have A ‘Face For The Radio’ In Exclusive Album Breakdown

[Photo by: John Choi]

Meet the duo that are taking over the alternative scene one glitched-out, catchy chorus at a time. This month, poptropicaslutz! dropped their highly-anticipated debut album Face For The Radio via Epitaph Records and it is loaded with hits from start to finish. After dropping a slew of exciting singles this year including popular tracks “Catastrophe” featuring Magnolia Park, “Upside Down“, and “What Would You Do To Get Ahead(line)?“, the record’s B-sides are just as great. “Wind Back” and “Sierra Echo X-Ray” for example, are totally stand-out tracks.

The group explore many genres across the record, including nods to early 2000’s pop punk, hyperpop, Soundcloud hip-hop, and even a sprinkle of metal-leaning moments. poptropicaslutz! is currently on the road supporting Face For The Radio with Magnolia Park, TX2, and 408. We had a chance to link up with the band for an exclusive track-by-track breakdown of the entire album. Read what they had to say right here!

It’s usually pretty cliche to ask a group how they got their band name, but in your case you have an extremely unique moniker for your project. I’d love to know the story behind how you landed on it! 

We were in a monastery and a monk came up to us with a premonition that we’d be in a band called poptropicaslutz! and achieve world domination. Alternatively…. we’d needed a group name for a while, and it felt impossible to come up with one. Somehow poptropicaslutz! popped into my head, and I knew it was memorable and unique, so it stuck. It was during the Covid lockdown, and it felt like a rebirth and something that would really get peoples attention. 

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You guys blend many genres together super seamlessly and explore a lot of different sounds in your catalogue, but especially on “Face For The Radio”. The intro track is very hyper-pop centric, while the second track quickly feels more myspace-era pop-punk. What was your process with choosing the track list? 

We chose the songs that collectively covered the most of our various influence. We didn’t want to make a project with one singular style, but rather an amalgamation of everything we do best. 

What does your writing process typically look like? With such a broad sonic soundscape, do you typically start with the production elements? Or is it more traditional, starting with lyrics and melody on an acoustic guitar for example? 

It varies, sometimes the lyrics and melody come first, and we’ll put music to it, almost like scoring a movie. Then other times we’ll start with a chord progression or bassline and let that inspire the lyrics. Sometimes an object inspires the first lyric—like the photo album in the studio that inspired “I wanna capture this” in “Bittersweet Teeth.” 

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“What Would You Do To Get Ahead(line)?” feels reminiscent of iconic neon pop-punk acts like Metro Station or Cash Cash with a modern and fresh spin. Who were some of your biggest influences going into this record?

Juice Wrld, Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out [Panic! At The Disco], movies.

Do you have a specific track that you are most excited to perform live, and why?

“Wind Back,” because it feels different from our old music in the sense that it’s more structured and clean, but retains our style of songwriting while touching on similar topics in new ways. It brings a new energy to our set that’s perfect for a live setting. 

Your lyrics are very clever and cheeky. Is there a certain line or phrase from this album that you are the most proud of writing? 

 “She had a dollar to give, I only sell goosebumps she can’t stand her skin, do you need a new place to live? The former tenants made like flies and dropped , I’ll make their wings flutter again since you being someone you’re not.”

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poptropicaslutz! is currently on the road with Magnolia Park, 408, and TX2. A hell of a line-up! Do you have any interesting/wild/funny stories from tour you’d like to tell? Can be this one or a previous one. 

 The headliner on one of our first tours smashed his manager’s head through a window. True story.

It’s awesome seeing you collaborate with other artists and producers so frequently. Who is your dream artist to collaborate with?

Mike DeanWill.i.am, Pharrell, Daft Punk, Ryan Ross are some of our dream collaborations because of the influence they’ve had on us and our sound. 

I think “Wind Back” is my favorite track from the album. There’s something different about it, when I listened through “Face For The Radio” the first time it definitely jumped out at me. What are your favorite songs from the album that weren’t singles?

A Flair for Conclusions, Yet She’ll Never Be Swan Queen,” “Falling Apart in Halftime,” and “Where The Wind Blows.”

Christian, I read that you grew up somewhat of a “goody-two-shoes smart kid” and Nick, you were in your first semester of college when the two of you linked up. You all mention that the pandemic inspired a “fuck it” moment for you. Was Isarting this project and leaning into a more edgy version of yourselves nerve-wracking at all, or more freeing? 

We wanted to rebel and disappoint our parents…. but in the process we’ve made them proud. You can catch them at our concerts wearing “poptropicaslutz! #1 fan” shirts and sporting foam fingers. It definitely felt nerve-wracking at first. Even though in all honesty we had our parents’ full support…. it definitely changes things when you decide to go all in. But a life without risks isn’t worth living.

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